Saturday, August 22, 2009

Driving in New England

In addition to the unusual road signs, we have found that it is much more difficult to find your way around in New England. In the Midwest, roads generally run East/West and North/South. That means that if you need to travel south, you can usually point your car in that direction and eventually find your way to your destination.

In New England, that is not the case. Everything is in circles. Not only that, but the roads are lined with trees (BEAUTIFUL--but you can't see landmarks because they are set back behind the trees). I tend to be someone who follows landmarks, rather than street names, so this has been a challenge. The roads twist and turn but every mile looks the same. It's's just the same.

Pretty much everyone has a GPS--even people who have lived here a long time. It's a good thing I have it because there are SO many times that it tells me to go in a direction that is COMPLETELY counter-intuitive. I finally figured out that it's because the roads are in circles. So, even though I came from one direction, it might be faster to go in the opposite direction to go home. ARGH!

And then there are the roundabouts. Ooohhhh...gotta love these! They are a big circle with about six roads flowing in and out of them. You drive into the circle and run for your life. I just stay on the outside lane and hope for the best. You definitely don't want to get on the inside track...see your road...and cut across two lanes of traffic horizontally to get where you need to exit. It is especially fun when I am following Jeff and he isn't sure which road until the last second. (We take two cars everywhere because we don't all fit in our mini-van.)

Another thing I am getting used to is that I think the roads were built for horse and buggies! They are incredibly narrow and there is no shoulder. They are barely wide enough for two cars. I shudder to think what they will be like in the winter when the roads are icy. I think I'll stay home! A lot of the mailboxes along the roads have dents in them and I'm thinking that people accidentally hit them with the mirrors of their cars. The trees are right on the edge of the road, so there is no grace area if you need to move over. Forget about getting a flat tire or having car trouble!

All in all, it's very pretty countryside here and in the fall, I'm sure it will be stunning.


Adeye said...

Oh my gosh--I get lost WITH a GPS--I have no idea where I would end up there. Maybe I don't understand that woman's accent--or maybe she waits till the last darn second to tell me what to do (which I HATE it because I NEED some time to plan!)--she seems to always be telling me "when it is safe, make a legal u-turn"--because I miss the right turn every single time :)

Seriously directionally challenged!

Lori said...

That would make me crazy! I like to get to point A to point B without any backtracking or missed turns. Though the beautiful scenery would at least make it a delightful drive.

In our little nook of the Midwest we have roundabouts and I LOVE THEM! I hate stopping at stop signs so this is a brilliant invention as far as I'm concerned. It's the drivers who don't know how to use them that make me crazy. Crazier. Whatever.

Angie said...

As for round-abouts, all I can say is, "Look kids...Big Ben,Parliament!"

Kim K. said...

Your fall pictures are going to be stunning. I can't wait. I don't envy driving on those roads come winter time. Staying home sounds good!!

Holly said...

Wondering if you and Stefanie from Ni Hao Ya'll are in the same parts....what a gathering of beautiful kids that would be if the two of ya'll got together!
You need a very smart GPS to help you out girl!

Chris said...

Those dents in the mailboxes are from the snow plows in the winter.

Welcome to the northeast, where the roads were first footpaths, too the easiest route.

Ann said...

I am just checking in to let you know you are often in my thoughts and prayers. I usually read your blog via e-mail on my phone, so I don't often have the opportunity to post, but I know you are in the midst of a lot of change and I am thinking of you and wishing you well.

Cami said...

Wow. It must be soooo pretty. By the way, I loved your self-scanning story. Everytime my family goes ot Meijer, that happens too! No worries about getting behind on blogs, I totally understand! -<3- Cami

Deanna said...

yes, the dents are from the plow trucks... We have to replace our mailbox every spring!!
Those Circles of Misery: I experienced my 2nd accident on one just a few days ago! Pretty minor as I was only lightly rear-ended, but 2 years ago for the first one it was pretty bad. My only 2 accidents ever! Both at the same circle. Be careful!
I've been wondering too where in the NE Stephanie and her group are... I don't think she's mentioned yet. But I too am looking forward to both of your fall pictures! I try to get a few good ones every year but I can only imagine how great yours will be!